Maker Kase - Universal 3D Printer Cabinet
Maker Kase - Universal 3D Printer Cabinet
Universal Maker cabinet. Perfect for 3D printers, model makers, small CNC machines and open frame Bitcoin Miners.
Universal Maker cabinet. Perfect for 3D printers, model makers, small CNC machines and open frame Bitcoin Miners. Read more
About this project
The idea for creating a project like Maker Kase was inspired by necessity, like so many other projects on Kick Starter. The task was to solve a problem we were having in our office on a daily basis. Our company has been in the retail/production industry for over a decade. During this time we have gone from model making to the latest in desktop CNC and 3d printing. What used to take us a year to design, prototype, and produce for our retail clients is now usually done in under six months. To accomplish this we relied a lot on 3d printing and the concept of rapid prototyping. From our original Cupcake, to an 8'x8' PrintrBot all the way to our current Afinia machines, we embraced 3d printing. Yet a lot of times we were left with bad prints due to temperature variances, people bumping into the printer accidentally, or vibration loosening some of the kit pieces during high speed printing.
It was then that we decided to use our resources and create our own cabinets that could sit on our desks and protect our equipment from all of the variables that left us frustrated. We knew from the beginning we wanted a cabinet that was similar in durability and structure to professional grade equipment.. After a few weeks of tinkering in Solidworks, we had a design we really liked and was big enough for all current and foreseen machines.
After we had the idea we liked, it was time to approach our production partner who had the equipment and expertise we needed to prototype our cabinet. We worked closely with them to make sure the cabinet was built to our specifications and would allow easy customization to individual use. This meant being able to use it as a 3d printer cabinet, a drying cabinet for model makers, a cabinet to store a custom mining rig, and just about any other use for a cabinet this large.
We knew we would want to put lighting into the cabinet so that we would be able to watch a print in progress, so we made sure the cabinet would have a knockout panel in the front for a single gang metal box. This meant we would use either 110v or low voltage to power up a standard light bulb or led bulb. We liked the idea of the power switch being right in the front. We also learned that cold temperatures or a draft could destroy the print, making it imperative to heat our cabinets. We looked to the Maker community for this and found many people using the small STC-1000 PID units to do this. The PID would also come in handy for drying paint on a newly built model. Therefore, we decided to also create a knock out in the front for the PID so we could add heating to the cabinets if we wanted to.
Wire management and the ability to vent fumes from the cabinet were also important, thus, we decided to build two knock outs, one on each side of the cabinet at a large 2" diameter for wire management or installing a small 12v fan to duct out fumes or excessive heat from a mining rig.
What developed was an amazing design. We did a small batch of prototypes for our office. We now use these cabinets every day for our day to day work. Everyone who comes by our office asks if they could get a cabinet. We soon realized that we needed to make these cabinets available to others.
We realized quickly from feedback that not everyone wanted or could afford the stainless steel finish we wanted for our office. While we loved the industrial look of stainless steel, it is a more expensive metal to use in production so we had another meeting with our production partner. We went over the materials available and we decided that a mild steel, currently used in Desk Top Tower PCs was the right choice for a less expensive case. We also liked the idea we could powder coat the mild steel and decided to use a black and white finish the factory currently uses. Black for PC users and white for Apple users.
For us to do this project in a short run production order for Kick Starter supporters, we need to commit to three hundred units in mild steel and fifty units in stainless steel. In order for the factory to recalibrate the machines, load the laser program, and shut down to do our production run those are the requirements. Many factories would not even do such a short run, but our relationship with them has allowed us to create this project for the entire Maker community at an incredible value.
We are extremely excited to take a product we are using on a daily basis and bring it into the homes of our supporters. To help decrease the per piece production cost, each cabinet will be shipped unassembled to our supporters. This cuts production cost, ocean transportation costs, and shipping costs. The purpose of this project is to get the finest cabinet at the best value to other Makers who will grow our community.
Here are key specifications of the Maker Kase:
Available in solid Stainless Steel or mild steel with White or Black Powder coat finish.
Top lifting panel to access cabinet from the top only. Handle is flush with top panel when not in use. Will be added in PRODUCTION.
Front opening panel with clear plexiglass window to see what is printing. Handle is solid steel for years of operation.
Dual knock out panels in front of cabinet for personal customization.
One knockout is for a standard metal single gang electric box
One knockout is for a PID Thermostat Controller Model STC-1000
Each side of the cabinet has a 2” knockout panel for cables or venting.
Cabinet has 4 rubber feet to reduce vibrations and ensure a sturdy footprint.
Cabinet has a lock on the front door for security or accidental opening during printing.
All materials are ROHS compliant for environmental impact guidelines.
Cabinet weighs roughly 45lbs
Cabinet has basic dimensions of: 24” Wide x 22” High x 22” Deep
STC-1000 110v thermostat with each order included.
Risks and challenges
At this point in this project we have ironed out all the bugs in terms of production. As you can see from the video we are at the point of small scale production. We will be shipping these units directly from our wharehouse in Rockaway NJ within 72 hours of them arriving to our loading dock. We have over ten years in logistics experience shipping items as large as trade shows booth to small retail stands. The packaging requirements we have set forth are drop test compliant and will use ROHS materials to ensure we are causing the least amount of environmental impact in terms of packaging materials.
Our wharehouse space is over 10,000 square feet with two loading dock doors. We use the best thermal labeling machines for accurate print outs to ensure no lost packages and every package will have insurance to cover accidental loss or damage.
The only challenge we could see is weather or natural disaster related from our production partner in China to the Newark Ports. However since we are looking for a late spring time delivery or roughly 90 days after the project ends if funding is met we do not see storm related or water temperature related issues. We will of course update our supporters of all and any changes as we feel feedback is as much of the excitement in waiting as actually receiving a Maker Kase.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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